Leading news: GEA Members the Force Behind Geothermal Growth

This post brings you news about comprehensive energy legislation; U.S. renewables goals; grants for geothermal in California; announcements from GEA members and more.


While we talk a lot about the large-scale power production of geothermal energy, the Earth’s direct use heating applications are also busily increasing the efficiency of facilities across the globe. This chart shows the MWt of direct geothermal that is used for various types of facilities in the U.S., including aquaculture, industrial uses, greenhouses, district heating, agriculture drying, spa and pool, space heating and snowmelting. Low- to moderate-temperature water from geothermal reservoirs can be used to provide heat directly to buildings or other applications that require heat. Generally geothermal water for direct use must be between 68°F and 302°F. Market growth for direct use between 2000 and 2005 saw an average of 2.6% per year, although space heating and agricultural drying grew by 9.3% and 10.4%, respectively, during that time period. This was among the materials used by Geothermal Energy Association Executive Director Karl Gawell in a recent presentation at the National Defense University.

Click below to read this week’s leading geothermal news.

*Energy and Natural Resources Committee to Look at Comprehensive Energy Bill
*U.S. Can More Than Triple Share of Renewable Energy by 2030, New IRENA Report Says
*Renewables Advisory Committee Offers Recommendations for Trade Mission to China
*California Approves Funding for Two Geothermal Projects
*Dewhurst Group: Hernandez to Share Geothermal Drilling Skills in Indonesia
*Enel Green Power: Record Breaking Renewables Reported in Italy
*Southern Methodist University: Lab Prepares for Geothermal, Oil, Gas Industry Discussions
*GEA Members are the Force Behind Geothermal Growth, Policy Push, Media Campaigns

Energy and Natural Resources Committee to Look at Comprehensive Energy Bill
During her first session as the new Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK-R) discussed her plans for a comprehensive energy bill. The bill will be based around the four major areas of supply, infrastructure, efficiency and accountability. “I think it’s important to focus on some of these areas that we can build out a form based on infrastructure, based on efficiency and really see if we can’t come together as a committee to build a refreshed, re-imagined policy,” Murkowski said. She also plans to tackle a new nuclear waste disposal law, revenue sharing of Outer Continental Shelf drilling proceeds with states, and forest management reform.

U.S. Can More Than Triple Share of Renewable Energy by 2030, New IRENA Report Says
Press Release (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.) January 12-–Renewable energy share of 27 per cent in energy mix is both technically possible and cost-effective by 2030-–The United States can increase the use of renewable energy in its energy mix from 7.5 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent by 2030, according to a new report released today. Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America, prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), also says the US can increase its use of renewable energy in power generation from 14 per cent to almost 50 per cent by 2030, making it the world’s second largest renewable energy user after China.

“As the second largest energy consumer in the world, the US must continue to play a leading role in the global transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA. “The recent agreement between the US and China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a groundbreaking step, but this report aims even higher, showing that more can be done at limited cost.”

With current policies in place, the share of renewable energy in the US energy mix will only reach 10 per cent by 2030. REmap 2030 estimates that an annual investment of USD 86 billion between now and 2030 is required to reach the 27 per cent renewables mark – an increase of USD 38 billion annually beyond a business-as-usual scenario. But, the higher renewable share will result in an annual savings of USD 30 to 140 billion by 2030 when accounting for factors like human health and reduced emissions.

“REmap 2030 shows that the US could install significantly higher amounts of renewables – and that it can do so affordably,” said Mr. Amin. “Even in a country with cheap shale gas like the US, renewable energy is still cost competitive and reduces air pollution, enhances energy security, benefits the economy, and plays a leading role in fighting climate change.”

The report is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap 2030, which provides a plan to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030 and determines the potential for the US and other countries to scale up renewable energy in the energy system, including power, industry, buildings, and the transport sector.

“This report adds to the growing chorus of studies that show the increasing cost competitiveness and potential of renewable energy in the US,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre. “Importantly, it shows the potential of renewables isn’t just limited to the power sector, but also has tremendous potential in the buildings, industry and transport sectors.”

Next week, efforts to scale up global renewable energy expansion continue as government leaders from more than 150 countries and representatives from 110 international organisations gather in Abu Dhabi for IRENA’s fifth Assembly. For more information on the Remap 2030 report, including Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America, visit: www.irena.org/REmap.

Renewables Advisory Committee Offers Recommendations for Trade Mission to China
GEA’s Executive Director, Karl Gawell, serves on the the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEEAC) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This week REEEEAC completed a letter to the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Energy with recommendations for the upcoming Business Development Mission to China. The letter reads:

“Dear Secretary Pritzker and Secretary Moniz:

“On behalf of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (Committee), we provide the following recommendation regarding trade reciprocity for your joint April 2015 Business Development Mission to China, focused on Smart Cities and Smart Growth. As you have recognized, this mission seeks to deepen U.S.-China cooperation to promote a low-carbon economy by expanding U.S. company exports to China and helping to facilitate their involvement in Smart City planning and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies. The Committee greatly appreciates your efforts to promote U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency exports to China.

“Importantly, this trade mission provides an opportunity to not only grow U.S. exports to China but also to establish a foundation for long-term, reciprocal trade in renewable energy and energy efficiency goods and services between our countries. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman recently stated that U.S.-China collaboration on climate change must recognize the interests of both countries to grow world class renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. We agree.

“To be truly sustainable, U.S.-China collaboration on climate change and related trade in renewable energy and energy efficiency goods and services must be a two-way street—public support for international trade is often contingent upon reciprocal market access with trading partners.

“With the foregoing in mind, and recognizing that we are in the early stages of growth for the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, there is an important opportunity to establish foundational principles regarding U.S.-China trade in related products and services. Accordingly, the Committee respectfully requests that during the course of your trade mission you (i) make clear that, while implied, reciprocal trade – where both parties mutually benefit from interchangeable roles as buyers and sellers – should be explicitly identified as a foundational principle of U.S.-China collaboration on climate change mitigation and trade in renewable energy and energy efficiency goods and services, and (ii) commence efforts to obtain an acknowledgement from China. We also respectfully request the opportunity to be briefed on the trade mission outcomes.”

California Approves Funding for Two Geothermal Projects
In its first business meeting of the new year, the California Energy Commission approved funding for two geothermal projects (Modoc Joint Unified School District heating system and Surprise Valley Hot Springs exploration) through the Energy Commission’s Geothermal Grant and Loan Program. The funding is part of a nearly $18 million approval for projects that will help the state meet its climate and energy goals. The funding comes from the royalty and lease payments of currently operating geothermal developers on California federal lands.

The Modoc Joint Unified School District will receive $3.1 million to expand its existing geothermal heating system at Modoc High School. The expansion will add two additional schools and the public pool in Alturas. The expanded system is projected to save the school district more than $4.2 million in fuel and electricity costs over 25 years. The other project is also in Modoc County: $1.1 million will be used at the Surprise Valley Hot Springs for geothermal research, analysis and exploratory drilling and to install a small geothermal distributed energy unit at the Surprise Valley Hot Springs Resort which could save over $10,000 annually in electricity cost.

Dewhurst Group: Hernandez to Share Geothermal Drilling Skills in Indonesia
The Dewhurst Group’s Jonathan Hernandez will be running a geothermal drilling workshop in Indonesia as a Training Course for the non-profit Society of Petroleum Engineers. “Introduction to Geothermal Drilling and Management” will be held 23 – 24 February 2015 at the Millennium Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. The course is intended for geoscientists, drilling engineers, and management personnel who are new to the geothermal drilling field, or have come from an oil/gas background. New recruits should also benefit from this course. As well, it may also interest experienced professionals as a refresher course.

Participants attending the training course will benefit from the sessions by: Grasping a technical understanding of geothermal drilling; Understanding the differences between conventional oil and gas projects and geothermal projects; Identifying the key factors in the decision making process before/during/after the drilling project with production and development as the final goals; and Understanding different management styles and their impacts on projects around the world.

Hernandez has supervised various geothermal drilling projects from Alaska to Argentina. He currently works in developing Latin American Operations as well as serving as Drilling Operations Engineer for Dewhurst Group LLC (Washington DC – USA). Attendees of SPE training courses earn 0.8 continuing education units for each day of training. Visit the registration site: http://www.spe.org/training/courses/GED.php.

Enel Green Power: Record Breaking Renewables Reported in Italy
Enel Green Power’s 2015 started with new records for renewable generation in Italy. For geothermal energy: “Geothermal power in Italy on 31 December reached an annual generation of 5.548 GWh, bettering the 5,301 GWh record achieved in 2013 and in the new year new developments are expected to take place. In 2015 the Larderello district will continue growing, thanks to the 38 MW net capacity of the two generation wells and the two re-injection wells of the new Bagnore 4 plant, as well as with the integration into the Cornia 2 facility of a forest short-chain biomass plant that will overheat steam with the aim of increasing the geothermal cycle’s energy efficiency and electricity generation.”

Southern Methodist University: Lab Prepares for Geothermal, Oil, Gas Industry Discussions
The SMU Geothermal Lab is hosting their 7th international energy conference and workshop. “Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields” will be held May 18‐20, 2015 on the SMU Campus in Dallas, Texas. Over 200 individuals in field operations, project development, technology, finance, engineering and resource assessment from the geothermal, oil, gas and renewable energy sectors are expected to attend.

The conference goal is to connect attendees with the knowledge, technical expertise and equipment options they need to successfully transition existing oil or gas fields into an electricity‐generating system. This year our focus broadens to include geophysical exploration topics.

Topics of discussion include power generation from flare gas, waste‐heat, and geothermal fluids, along with research updates on induced seismicity, onshore and offshore thermal maturation, Play Fairway Analysis and basin modeling. SMU researchers will present results from their Fall 2014 Eastern North American Margin Community Seismic Experiment (ENAM CSE) research. In addition, equipment such as one‐well systems, desalination and other new technologies will be explored.

A pre‐conference workshop on May 18th, A Primer on Geothermal Energy Resources, provides a focused introduction for those new to the geothermal and energy communities. Four Continuing Education Credits are provided. The workshop is limited to the first 50 registrants to provide a classroom atmosphere with ample time for questions and answers.

For more information visit the website: http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/Academics/Programs/GeothermalLab/Conference. Contact: Maria Richards, mrichard@smu.edu, 214‐768‐1975.

GEA Members are the Force Behind Geothermal Growth, Policy Push, Media Campaigns
In the past decade, over $3 billion in the U.S. and roughly $18 billion worldwide has been invested in new geothermal power projects. Today, the global market is growing at historic rates. The Geothermal Energy Association staff and consultants have helped spur and shape these developments in the U.S. and global geothermal markets.

We would like to thank our current members for making the work we do here at GEA possible and ask nonmembers to consider joining us as we work to expand the geothermal industry. With our members’ support we are able to push for policies that expand the industry, publish reports, hold industry events and more. GEA has helped shape millions of people’s thinking on key industry, policy and technology developments through our extensive media campaigns; without your support we wouldn’t be able to garner attention nor produce this weekly newsletter and social media. GEA events have provided opportunities to network and establish new relationships for your business.

The GEA works hard to generate growth for our member companies and the geothermal industry at large. We trust that companies with involvement in the industry recognize that your interests are tied to GEA’s success in its advocacy, public relations, market development and other activities. A GEA membership provides the support we need to continue to work on behalf of the entire US Geothermal Industry while also directly benefiting your company with our many membership perks. For more information on membership and to apply please e-mail Juliana@geo-energy.org or visit our Web site here: http://geo-energy.org/membership.aspx.

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